"Will & Grace" creator Max Mutchnick has a deep, personal connection with Stonewall -- it's the first gay bar he ever dared to fearfully enter, and it now has just come full circle with his own children.
We got Max Thursday afternoon at LAX ...he had just returned from New York, where he took his children to visit the site where the gay rights movement began 50 years ago today ... when a violent clash erupted between patrons and law enforcement.
Max credits the people who stood up for their rights for his own successful journey, which of course includes his transformative TV sitcom. But, with all the progress, there's one person he says is most responsible for "Will and Grace" ... Ellen DeGeneres.
By the way ... Max and Ellen have another connection ... a few years back he sold his spectacular Bev Hills home to Ellen.
Max isn't the only one who credits Ellen. Megan Mullally has said as much ... telling Ellen earlier this year it was her show that inspired "Will & Grace" and cleared the path for it to air.